Five years of development at the former Case-IH site in East Moline will generate 2,000 jobs and cost about about $150 million, according to its developer.
A revitalized version of the proposed development was shared Wednesday by River Eagle group, composed of Mike VanDeHeede, Matt Stern, Dan Murphy and state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline.
In 2010, the group announced it had bought 132 acres of the site for about $1.5 million with the intention of developing it into a mixed business and residential district initially named Port of Call Quad Cities.
It since has received a new name -- Fountainhead of the Quad Cities -- and a new design, including 250 rooms in the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels, a park of more than three acre with a band stand and a sports center, said J. Paul Beitler, president of Beitler Real Estate Services LLC, River Eagle's developer.
“This will be the largest single multi-use development in Illinois,” Mr. Beitler said during a news conference Wednesday at East Moline's City Hall.
The project is expected to start this summer with infrastructure work and the park. The first buildings to be erected will be the hotel complex and 300 apartments, he said.
Mr. Beitler said they hope to have the hotel open within 18 to 20 months. The hotel complex will be equally divided between overnight and extended-stay accommodations, he said.
Then will come the development's retail sections, which will include a gas station, a pharmacy and a bank.
In total, the work could take three to five years, he said. The projected 2,000 jobs include both construction and permanent jobs.
Helmut Jahn, the architect for the hotel, said he wants it to be more than just a place to stay. He wants it to be a public place.
“It relates to the river,” he said. “It becomes a special place.” Visitors will be able to watch bald eagles or participate in events, he said.
The proposal includes a sports center with basketball and soccer courts, condominiums, housing for senior citizens and a self-storage facility, according to information presented at the news conference.
East Moline Mayor John Thodos said he liked the updated plan.
“It's much better than earlier concepts I've seen for the ground,” he said.
Also on Wednesday, the city held a public hearing on a tax increment financing district for the project.
In late 2011, the city council created a TIF district for the River Eagle project. Late last year, however, city officials and Mr. VanDeHeede of River Eagle said the tax assessment never was adjusted to reflect the $1.5 million paid for the property and, instead, cited an older, much higher valuation of about $6 million, meaning River Eagle was paying too much tax.
To rectify the situation, River Eagle must have Rock Island County change the assessment, and the TIF district must be dissolved and recreated. Creating a new district is the only way to adjust the TIF under state law, Mayor Thodos said at the time.
The new TIF district will reflect the adjusted tax assessment and will be known by the project's original name, "Port of Call," city administrator Cole O'Donnell said Wednesday night.
A handful or people were present at the hearing, but no questions were asked. Afterward, Janet Neff of the East Moline school board said she thought the plan would be good for the city.
"I think East Moline needs more development," she said.
Marcos Alvarez, an East Moline resident, said he was concerned about the effect the project might have on a nearby mobile home park. Officials told him there would be none.
Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.